A WIGAN midwife lost an incredible 17 stone before heading to the altar to be married.
Cheryl O’Reilly, from Standish, weighed nearly 30 stone when she joined her local slimming world group six years ago.
After losing more than half her bodyweight, Cheryl has spoken of how difficult but liberating her journey has been and how it has improved her life.
Cheryl said: “Six years ago I weighed 29 stone and 13lbs and was in a state of despair.
“It was during one delivery at work that I slipped and fell into the birthing pool and flooded the room that it finally hit me.
“I saw it as a trigger to do something as I was also having trouble getting around and with breathlessness and such. So I enrolled at slimming world but then lost my way again for a while and began to pile on the pounds.
“My relationship was failing and my son, Dan, had left home for university and I began to feel a little down.”
Time passed, but three and a half years ago, Cheryl decided she really needed to lose weight to change her life.
After meeting her GP it was agreed that she would benefit from a gastric bypass but first had to prove she could lose weight on her own.
She rejoined slimming world and took up swimming and lost almost nine stone before surgery in April 2013.
Cheryl said: “In a twist to this the surgery almost didn’t go ahead as I’d lost so much weight on my own. I now eat very small portions very regularly. I know the portion size and what I can’t eat. I wouldn’t advise anyone to have this surgery unless they are committed to losing weight for good.
Now weighing 13 stone and six lbs, Cheryl recently flew to New York to marry her new love, Heather.
Cheryl added: “Knowing I wouldn’t need a seat belt extension was awesome and I was just ecstatic to feel like myself again. I’m so happy and less stressed now compared to when I weighed so much.”